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Fiction and Other Minds
Sharing tacit knowledge through literature
This talk will have two parts. Firstly, I will offer an outlook on literary narrative as an interface for activating and developing the reader’s tacit, embodied knowledge. Having engaged in theoretical and empirical research on the embodied and situated facets of reading for about a decade, I will especially focus on sensorimotor mental imagery – how it is supported by textual features, the environment where we read, and the reader’s personal situation more generally. Secondly, I will look at the affordances of different kinds of literature for interpersonal sharing. I will propose that some literary texts are more “tacit” in their makeup than others and that this has consequences for how our experiences of them are shared in everyday conversation and other social interactions, including educational practice. I will argue for the benefits of sharing tacit text experience in literary learning across educational tiers, and include a practical example of how this may be done.